Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Pentel Hybrid Technica

I've been away, having a bit of surgery on my noggin, but I'm back with some awesome new pens!

When I opened the envelope from Pentel and saw the Hybrid Technicas looking back up at me, I knew this was going to be good.

I've never owned a Hybrid Technica before, but I had heard a lot of good things about them. They're part of the Pentel Arts line (along with the Metallic Sliccis, and the Sunburst pen) and have acid free, archival ink perfect for doodling or serious art. I received all four available tip sizes - 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, and 0.6mm. They all sport a tungsten carbide roller tip, and the comfortable grip that is common with the Pentel line of pens.

I grabbed a piece of paper and did a few doodles here and there, and I was pretty impressed with the ink flow. The 0.6mm made bold, thick lines that were nicely filled in without any skipping or blotting up of the ink. In contrast, the 0.3mm tip made some sharp, crisp lines that were super thin and great for smaller detail work. (Hey, even doodles have some substance, once in a while!) I didn't see a marked difference between the 0.4mm and the 0.5mm line thickness, but the ink flow was super with both of them as well.

A writing sample:

They feel good in hand, not too heavy or bulky, but not super skinny like the Sliccis. The tip size is clearly marked on the cap top, so you're sure to grab the right size when you're reaching into your pen cup, however I noticed that it wasn't marked anywhere else on the pen. While this isn't problematic for me since I don't have more than one pen uncapped at once, it might pose a problem if you're the type to draw furiously with several pens ready for action at once. I'm pretty sure you'd be able to tell the 0.3 from the 0.6, but the 0.4 and the 0.5 might easily get mistaken for each other.

Of course, I'm not thrilled with the cap, and would love a retractable version of these pens. They're really great pens, even for just every day use. The 0.3mm tip wrote smoothly, which is a bonus if you're into very fine writing pens. Sometimes they can be scratchy when you write, almost like you're clawing the paper and that gets annoying pretty quickly. I didn't have any of those issues with any of these pens, and I'll be keeping them around for anything I might need a good pen for.

I recommend the Pentel Hybrid Technicas to anyone looking for a good workhorse pen that doesn't need it to be super fancy. Or retractable. Ha ha!

Here's a sketch I did using all four pens for different areas, on Doane Paper:

The 0.6mm was great for filling in the dark areas, while the 0.3 really let me get in there with some of the finer details like suture marks and around the teeth. Really pleased with how it turned out. The Hybrid Technicas definitely earned their place in my pen cup.

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